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Setup TailwindCSS for React

1. Basic setup

After installing TailwindCSS and doing the basic setup, you need PostCSS-CLI to build out main.css, setup some commands in package.json to do that:

  "scripts": {
    "start": "npm run watch:css && react-scripts start",
    "build": "npm run build:css && react-scripts build",
    "deploy": "NODE_ENV=production npm run build",
    "test": "react-scripts test",
    "eject": "react-scripts eject",
    "watch:css": "postcss src/css/tailwind.css -o src/css/main.css",
    "build:css": "postcss src/css/tailwind.css -o src/css/main.css"

Don’t forget to import main.css in your React index file:

import './css/main.css';

2. Install font family

Choose your favorite font from a fontsouce-* package and extend Tailwind config, I choose ‘Nunito’:

theme: {
  extend: {
    fontFamily: {
      sans: ["Nunito", ...defaultTheme.fontFamily.sans]

Remember to include the font in your index file, too:

import 'fontsource-nunito';

3. Set default color

If you don’t want black as your default text body color, override it in plugins config, I choose blue-900 as my default color, so:

  plugins: [
    plugin(function({ addBase, config }) {
        'body': { color: config('theme.colors.blue.900') },

4. Purge unused CSS

Full size of TailwindCSS is around 2MB, but you rarely use it all, TailwindCSS official guide recommends not to use string concatenation to create class names, but if you still want to do that, use whitelist patterns to bypass the cleaning.

For example if I want to keep all colors for background and text:

  purge: {
    content: [
    options: {
      whitelistPatterns: [/^bg-/, /^text-/],

You can find my full setup for my new React app in Github.

Written on November 1, 2020.